The Coca Cola polar bear has become the unsuspecting focus of the ‘be less white’ training drama online.
On February 19th, Coca-Cola set social media alight with a leaked training video sent to staff. @DrKarlynB shared images of the Confronting Racism seminar, which was sent to staff of the company. One page that garnered attention featured the line: “Be less white.”
The slide was followed by another which advised to: “Be less arrogant, be less certain, be less defensive, be more humble, listen, believe, break with apathy, break with white solidarity.”
Further slides include facts on “the US and other Western nations”: “Research shows that by age three to four children understand that it is better to be white.”
The seminar as a whole sets to teach combatting racism, perhaps just worded slightly poorly.
The ‘be less white’ training wasn’t made by Coca-Cola
Although the video is being shared on social media as a Coca-Cola training video, it isn’t actually made by them. Instead, it’s a LinkedIn training course which the company simply promoted.
In a statement to Fox Business, Coca-Cola said the viral slides “are not part of the company’s learning curriculum.”
“Our Better Together global training is part of a learning plan to help build an inclusive workplace. It is comprised of a number of short vignettes, each a few minutes long,” they added.
“The training includes access to LinkedIn Leaning on a variety of topics, including on diversity, equity and inclusion. We will continue to refine this curriculum.”
Coca-Cola polar bear memes
One furry creature who found himself in the middle of the Twitter outpour, is the brand’s iconic polar bear mascot.
The polar bear has been used by Coca-Cola as the company’s mascot, even briefly appearing on cans, since 1993.
Many Twitter users have jokingly related the ‘be less white’ phrase to that of the polar bear’s fur.